1975 Reseda High became the first school in the Los Angeles City School
District to offer Advanced Placement, Studio Art. The teacher was
42 year old Gene Gill. He had come to Reseda in 1968 after spending
five years teaching art at Gardena High School. He would remain at
Reseda until his retirement in 1988.
Reseda, Gill developed his own art program where "select" senior art students
were able to work more independently and were able to use materials not
available to an entire class. When the "Gifted" adviser at
Reseda came to him in 1974, about the possibility of offering a new Advanced
Placement class in art, he immediately put the program into the art curriculum.
Two students who were to be in Gill's own program the next year, became
the frist two in the Studio Art program. When their portfolios received
the top score of "five", it was inevitable that the studio art program
is the first to admit that during the last years of his career, he experienced
"teacher burn out" - but "never with the AP kids". In fact, he says,
"AP is the only thing that kept me going the last five years of teaching.
I loved those kids."
addition to his teaching career, Gene Gill is also an established artist
in the Los Angeles area. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, he received
his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from The Chouinard Art Institute (California
Institute of the Arts) and has exhibited widely in the Los Angeles area
since 1970. His paintings and graphics are included in the permanent
collections of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Palm Springs Desert
Museum, Container Corporation of America, Atlantic Richfield Corporation,
The Northrop Corporation, Home Savings, and The Ronald Reagan Presidential